[Ethnic Lapse] AJ's Kwik Mart is a cherished City Weekly neighbor and a fine little convenience store at 270 S. Main St.
It's also a purveyor of most things Middle Eastern and/or Muslim: prayer rugs; Turkish coffee urns; copies of the Quran and pistachio- and honey-laced pastries. News stories about the latest atrocities from Afghanistan are often taped to the cash register; the current piece details the astounding number of Afghan war widows struggling to survive in the country.
In short, AJ's is pretty much Middle East-oriented.
This morning, as I stood in line buying orange juice, the woman behind me picked up what looked like a giant ginger snap, wrapped in cellophane--an Afghan cookie.
Woman to AJ: "Is this Dutch? Do you have anything Dutch?"
AJ (respectfully): "No ma'am. We have things from Turkey."
Me (unable to mind my business): "This is a Middle Eastern kind of store."
Woman: "Well yeah, but you know sometimes you find marzipan in a store that isn't German."
Had to give her that much.
For those days when only Dutch will do. (Thanks, Brandon Burt)